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Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels are familiar residents of open woodlands, brushy forest-edge habitats, dry margins of mountain meadows, and rocky slopes. They are quick to invade sunny, disturbed areas where pioneer plants provide good food resources. Because they have a stripe on the flank, they are sometimes mistaken for chipmunks, but the stripe does not continue onto the cheek as it does in Tamias species. Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels are solitary burrow-dwellers. They eat almost anything, including fungi, a variety of plants, fruits, and seeds, insects in all life-cycle stages, nestling birds and eggs, small mammals, and carrion. They hibernate from late summer through early spring, and like other hibernating mammals, put on fat reserves beforehand.

Average: 275 mm
Range: 245-295 mm

Range: 175-350 g


Say, T., 1823.  in Thwaites, R.G., (ed.) Early Western Travels, 1748-1846 : A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best and rarest contemporary volumes of travel : descriptive of the Aborigines and Social and Economic Conditions in the Middle and Far West, during the Period of Early American Settlement, Cleveland, Ohio : A.H. Clark Co., Cleveland, Ohio, 1904-1907. Volume 16 (“Part III of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition, 1819-1820”), pg 38.

(Accessible on-line at the Library of Congress - enter page 38)


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)

Image of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)
Click to enlarge. (62kb)